How much is it going to cost?
We are now close to having a final estimate of the total cost of the refurbishment work. This is the total cost of:
- the replacement of the heating system throughout the downstairs of the building – across the main church worship area; two halls; an office and a smaller meeting space.
- refurbishing the main worship area to: remove the pews; remove the organ; remodel the platform (including a new baptistery); update the lighting, sound and video facilities; improve access to the platform for people with mobility difficulties; widen access doors to the space; create a new accessible toilet facility to the rear of the worship area; remodel the main entrance, creating a central aisle with glass doors; add new chairs; new carpet and decoration.
- other important items such as insurance, external project management, renting another space for us to meet and the initial investigation works.
Our latest estimates have the total price of the refurbishment work at around £400,000 (already including VAT).
With every major refurbishment like this, there is the possibility of unwelcome surprises during the work, which raise the final cost. We’ve done a lot of investigation works already to minimise this risk, but it still remains. Please be praying for a smooth process over the next three months.
We will be paying for this work using a mixture of the gifts that members and friends of WBBC have pledged for the work (£216,000); grants from third parties (we have one application still outstanding, but we have received one grant from Allchurches Trust); money already held by the church (£77,000); and a loan from the Baptist Union Corporation (around £104,000). This is set out in the table below:
|Refurbishment Gifts already received||1||£185,000|
|Additional pledged refurbishment gifts||2||£31,000|
|Church funds transfer||£77,000|
|Loan from Baptist Union Corporation||£104,000|
- As at 31 July 2018
- To be received in next 2 years and to be covered by interest free loans from congregation until received
Repaying the loan will cost around £13,000 per year for the next ten years. Clearly, the best way to deal with the loan is to pay it back earlier (at no penalty). So, in early 2019, those of us who see WBBC as “our church” will together undertake a review of our giving and examine the expenditure budget for 2019.
Every time I look at these numbers (which is pretty often at the moment!) I am struck again that this is definitely a big number. I need to remind myself again and again of the reason why we are doing this. Our purpose is to bring people to faith in Christ and through worship and nurture to enable them to glorify God through serving in the church and witnessing to the world. We partly do that by bringing people in to our building and both showing and telling them the great news of Jesus. This is hard to do well when the building is cold, draughty, uncomfortable and with inadequate audio-visual facilities! So, we are spending this money as an investment for many years ahead to allow us to bring people in Whitley Bay (and surrounding areas) to Christ. It’s as simple as that; and that’s a great investment.